I have a rather shameful gaming admission:
My name is Geek Girl Diva and I’m a “keyboard turner”.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about (and from the conversation I had last night, apparently you and I are in the minority. Everyone knows this stuff ::grin::) let me explain.
I play World of Warcraft. I play in a very good, progression-oriented guild on Moonrunner. We’re currently in ICC, have dropped Festergut and we’re beating our heads against Rotface, but we got him to 5% and he’s gonna get dropped Friday night.
I raid 2 – 3 nights a week and I play every day in one form or another. I have 2 level 80 toons and, if you pay attention to this sort of thing, my main Felynne has a Wow Heroes gear score in the mid to high 2700’s.
In other words, by pretty much any WoW player metric, I’m good.
However, unless you count the hours and quarters I dedicated to Phoenix and Tempest as a kid at the local liquor store and my love for pinball (Oh, Pinbot, you beast!), I’ve spent more time with a keyboard under my fingers than I have with a joystick or controller in them.
So, in the middle of a conversation last night with the guys in my guild, it comes up that I use my left hand for certain spells and my right hand for others during boss fights.
And the question came.
“How do you move?”
Now, if I’d known, I would have lied. Trust me. If I’d had a clue as to the reaction, I’d have blithely said that I use my mouse. Granted, it would have meant that I’d sprung a third hand or that I somehow had massively long fingers, but I would have lied.
But, nooooooooooooooo. No. I told the truth. Because I didn’t know. How could I not know? Why didn’t someone tell me?
Me: “I use the arrow keys”
If I ever doubted whether the guys in my guild love me, the moments of silence that followed have since washed them away. Because I have a feeling that any other person would have been subject to raucous laughter or mockery (both of which I firmly believe they kept muted, hence, the love).
Once the mics were cracked, I heard the disbelief. I heard the laughter under the words as the questions followed. They were genuinely surprised. I could tell. And it took a while for me to explain, to make them understand that I’d never been mentored. That I learned mostly on my own and that I’d never been taught any differently.
So, here I am — an outted “keyboard turner” with a world of bad habits and muscle memory I have no clue how to unlearn. Sure, I can be rehabilitated, but imagine the pain I’m going to go through. I’ve got to forget what I know and learn again.
Now, I know this is tongue in cheek, but I’ll tell you something. I did feel silly and I did get defensive. Not because they teased me, but because I know they mean well and that having a better understanding of how to use my hands during the game will actually benefit me.
Still, part of me feels like I didn’t know, and should have known — like I should have had a way to learn, or that the information was out there somewhere and I just missed it.
I really do think some of it has to do with the fact that video games just weren’t a part of my upbringing. I never had brothers, or a gaming console as a kid. I didn’t have friends I played with. So, it wasn’t until I was an adult that I even really came into my own as a gamer.
Is it a female thing? Is it an age thing? Did my parents just not love me enough?
And, how do you learn these things when the normal channels don’t present themselves?